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Chanukah in New York

Thursday, 26 December, 2019 - 6:23 am

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I write to you from New York, where I spend Chanukah. The lighting of the Chanukiyah in the Rebbe’s synagogue, with hundreds of people singing Chnukah songs together is very moving… I went yesterday to the Rebbe’s resting place and prayed for our whole community, and especially for those who sent me their name and their mother’s name. I will go again on Monday, so whoever hasn’t sent me can still do it now.

These days, I study with my friends various topics related to Chanukah. I’d like to share with you two messages that especially speak to me:

On Sunday, we lit one candle of the Chanukiya (except the Shamash), and it was perfect. We did exactly what we were supposed to do. But if on Monday, we again lit only one candle, it would not be enough. Because an entire day has passed! We cannot stay the same. We need to change. To grow.

Then, why don’t we light the 8 candles from the start? This is because in order to grow and become better, we cannot do it all at once. It needs to be done step by step. If not, it will not last. But we cannot stay at the same level either.

The first message of Chanukah then is to always grow and improve.

But in order to light the Chanukah candles, we use a Shamash, the helping candle. Once we are done with lighting all the other candles, we put the Shamash in higher position. This is the secret of the Shamash and the second message of Chanukah: when we light up someone else and help him or her, we become ourselves higher and better. It’s worth it!

Shabbat Shalom and Chanukah Sameach!

Hanna

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